LUMBERTON — A tattoo-covered circus performer drew gasps and giggles Wednesday from a curious crowd outside Wicked Skinsations.
The sideshow began shortly after 6 p.m. and marked the end of Enigma’s two-day visit at the Lumberton tattoo parlor. Born Paul Lawrence, the California native once held the Guinness World Record for Most Tattooed Man.
“I have met a lot of people here and it seems like everybody here is very supportive of the arts,” he said.
In addition to the blue jigsaw puzzle etched across his body, Enigma sports a pair of horn implants and contacts that make his eyes look like pits of swirling ink. He has been featured on the TV show “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” and photographed for National Geographic.
Enigma even has his own toy. Palisades released a figurine in 2005 based on a mute cannibal he played in an episode of “The X-Files.”
He met Wicked Skinsations owner Eddie Williams a few years ago at a convention for tattoo artists.
“When you see him for the first time you’re like, holy cow,” Williams told The Robesonian last week. “But I think once people talk to him for a second, they’ll realize he’s a super nice guy and a really intelligent fellow.”
He has a sense of humor, too.
His act was packed with quips and sight gags, lending some levity to the more cringe-worthy stunts he performed Wednesday. After warming up with a tried-and-true sword swallowing routine, he drove nails into his nostrils and used a chainsaw to slash through an apple clutched between his teeth — while blindfolded.
“In a magic show, you wonder how it’s done,” he told the audience. “But in a sideshow, you ask why it’s done.”
Enigma says Wicked Skinsations is steadily building a reputation outside Robeson County for its quality work, a welcomed endorsement coming from one of the most-tattooed men on the planet.
The shop is located at 407 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. For information, call 910-735-0112.
Reporter Jaymie Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5771 or by email at [email protected]